Do I have bronchitis or walking pneumonia?

You’re hacking and coughing and can’t catch your breath. You feel like you’ve taken a fist to the ribs and chest. And conversation? Right. You can’t get a word out without choking on it.

These are common symptoms of bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or the airways that supply the lungs. However, these are also common symptoms of walking pneumonia, another infection that attacks the respiratory system.

What is Bronchitis?

When someone suffers from bronchitis, he or she is suffering from blocked bronchi, the path by which air travels from the trachea to the lungs. Bronchitis can be caused by a viral infection or exposure to air pollution. Within the bronchi are cilia, small vibrating hairlike structures that clear the airway of everyday debris and particles we breathe in.

When the cilia is blocked, however, the airway becomes obstructed and eventually builds up with mucus. This mucus sets off a serious coughing spell, the most common symptom associated with bronchitis.

What is Walking Pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia is different from bronchitis in that it is an infection of the tissue of the lungs. Caused by a virus or, more commonly, bacterial infection, walking pneumonia affects the regular flow of oxygen. This compromises the respiratory system greatly as the alveoli fill with fluid and pus. Walking pneumonia results in mild inflammation of the lungs, similar to what happens with regular pneumonia only much less severe.

How do I know if I have bronchitis or walking pneumonia?

Well, the most effective way to tell if you have bronchitis or walking pneumonia is by visiting your doctor, who will perform a chest x-ray if he or she suspects you have walking pneumonia.

If you have walking pneumonia you will experience common flu- or cold-like symptoms, including fever, sore throat and headaches. Walking pneumonia doesn’t always present with coughing, but if it does you may experience green or bloody mucus, along with fever.

If you have bronchitis you may experience a dry or “wet” cough, in addition to headaches, fever, chills, sore throat and sore chest muscles. Bronchitis is almost always accompanied by wheezing and difficulty breathing.

This entry was posted on at and is filed under Walking pneumonia or bronchitis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply